What Has Happened to The Broncos?

Noah CrouseContributor IJune 15, 2009

DENVER - DECEMBER 21:  Wide receiver Brandon Marshall #15 of the Denver Broncos makes a reception as Terrence McGee #24 of the Buffalo Bills defends during NFL action at Invesco Field at Mile High on December 21, 2008 in Denver, Colorado. The Bills defeated the Broncos 30-23.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

I began watching the Denver Broncos when I was 7 years old. That is the first time I can remember having any interest in football or professional sports. Up until that point I would pop in here and there while my Dad or Uncles were watching a game, but other things usually caught my attention and I was off again. I don't know what change, but something did and I caught the NFL bug. Maybe it was spending time with my Dad or maybe it was just that I finally found something that kept my attention, but from that point on I have bled Orange and Blue and the Broncos have been my favorite professional sports team.

I was there for 2 Super Bowls, through Elway and every quarterback that has tried to fill the void left by his retirement. I am not a "rich" fan by any means but I try to get to at least 2 games a season. If I cannot make it, I watch every single game on television, even the blowout losses that have been prevalent in the past few years.

For the first time in all the time I have been a fan I can honestly say that I don't like the way this team is headed.

It started with the McDaniels and Cutler feud. Sure, Jay acted like a baby and yes blame could be spread to both parties but I put most of the blame on Coach McDaniels. I still question how he took a look at this team and decided that the first thing he needed to do was get rid of a young, talented Pro Bowl quarterback. Yes, I have heard the arguments that Jay couldn't get it done when the pressure was on, but it wasn't like he had one of the best defenses in the league on his side. Any quarterback that is in a situation where he has to score 40 to win is going to struggle, and Jay was no exception.   

But that is old news. I don't like the way McDaniels handled himself during that time but it is over and done with, time to move on!

Then there was the draft.

While I think Knowshon Moreno is going to be outstanding, he was a luxury not necessarily a need. I would have liked to see the Broncos go more defense heavy in the draft. Didn't happen, and that has me worried. Working with the same pieces, minus some of the dead weight, is going to result in the same thing that has happened the past few years, meaning more bad defensive play and more lopsided losses.

Now it appears that another Pro Bowl player could be on his way out the door. The Broncos are at an impasse with wide receiver Brandon Marshall, who is possibly unhappy with his coach, and is definitely unhappy with his current contract and wants to be paid for being one of the top players at his position.

The Broncos seem to be using the off-field issues as their reasoning for not giving Marshall a new contract. They want him to play out his current deal this year but won’t reward him with more money and more years because he is a problem child.

In my opinion, they cannot have it both ways. Either pay the man or get him off the team. His problems are either bad enough that he doesn’t deserve a roster spot, or they aren’t. It doesn’t work both ways! They cannot say that they won’t pay him because of his problems, and then want him to play for them.

Please tell me that in his first six months Josh McDaniels is not going to be willing to get rid of two Pro-Bowl players and possibly set this team back years in talent development. If Brandon Marshall is gone, who takes his place? They cannot count on Eddie Royal to do it all, and while Jabbar Gaffney is a nice complimentary player, he isn’t nearly the talent Marshall is.

I don't like what is happening to my football team. A seemingly potent offense has been broken up and could be on the verge of losing another star player.

From the outside looking in it really appears that the Broncos are no more functional than the Oakland Raiders and that is scary. It could take them years to recover from some of these moves.

Pat Bowlen believed Mike Shanahan didn't have what it takes to coach this team anymore, but the replacement he hired doesn't seem to have a clue. McDaniels has acted like he is smarter than everyone from the word go, so now he has to prove it. He had better hope that he can find a way with a team that has taken numerous steps backwards to improve on an 8-8 record.

McDaniels has made mistakes, rookie mistakes, and I am not afraid to call him on it. Mike Shanahan got a lot of heat for some of the decisions he made, so Coach Josh needs to as well. He is not above that and thus far he has done nothing to make me believe he is anything other than a good coordinator who has gotten in over his head.

If I am wrong, I am wrong and I'll admit it. If McDaniels leads them to any more than the 8 wins they had last year, I'll give the guy credit. But that isn't going to happen and in my opinion he will be here two years, then he'll be gone, leaving a team with a seemingly strong foundation shaken to the core and stripped of talent.